Your movie Deadly
Revisions - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you
tell us about your character in it?
First, please allow me to thank you for having me as a guest on SearchMyTrash.com. I love this site because it is so eclectic. I never
know what I will find, so it is aptly named, too!
As for Deadly
Revisions, it's a psychological thriller feature film. I play Grafton
Torn, a writer with amnesia. It's bad not to be able to remember, but in
Grafton's case, remembering may be worse.
What did you draw
upon to bring your character to life, and how much of Bill Oberst jr can
we find in Grafton? And how did you get hooked up with the
project in the first place?
Like George Washington, I
cannot tell a lie - I thought I was completely wrong for this role! When
Gregory Blair [Gregory
Blair interview - click here] sent me the script I told him I loved it but that he should
cast someone else. Blair wanted me. I said "Why?!" Grafton is
not physical, he's scared of his own shadow, he's a nebbish. Blair thought
it would be fun to see me play the victim for a change. He's my friend so
I trusted him, but secretly inside I was thinking "This is going to
be a disaster" the whole time. A lot of this business is learning to
trust the director. They're usually right. Actors are crazy bastards, you
know. It's a personality defect disguised as a profession.
What can you tell us about
your director Gregory Blair [Gregory
Blair interview - click here], and what was your collaboration
The whole shoot was Gregory messing with my hair (he wanted Grafton's
hair to be excessively neat) and me asking him "Why does Grafton
have to be such a wimp?" In the business we call this creative
tension. In the end I did what he said and the movie is better for it.
As Michael Caine says "The director is the guvnor and what the
guvnor wants the guvnor gets!"
What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and
the on-set atmosphere?
Bill and the slate and Pixie
The shoot was really fun because
there was a dog on set. I'm a dog man. Gregory's little Pixie was there
every day and we all took turns adoring her. She's the namesake of his
production company Pix/See
Productions. I thought Pixie should be barking
in a little circle at the start of the movie, just like the MGM lion.
Oddly, no one else thought this was a good idea.
You recently won a couple of
awards for Deadly
Revisions - and even if that might be a moronic question, how does
this make you feel?
It is not a moronic question at all.
Winning an individual award is uncomfortable, because filmmaking is such a
team sport. I always try to do penance by turning the attention to others
on the crew - directors, cinematographers, gaffers, set designers, focus
pullers and a hundred other people who are behind every frame. And winning
awards for Deadly
Revisions was a shock, because I really
thought I had destroyed the movie with my performance! Which goes to show
you what actors know.
Another recent film of yours is The Dooms Chapel Horror
- so what can you tell us about that one and your
character in it?
I play the leader of a rural cult in The Dooms Chapel Horror, a
found-footage feature about a young man who returns home with a film
crew to face old demons (of which I am one). We shot in Kentucky, so the
scenery is both beautiful and authentic. It's the second time I have
played a cult leader (after Children Of Sorrow) and in both cases
I was pleased that the directors choose to have the cult based on
beliefs other than Christianity. I find the depiction of "crazy
Christians" to be tired, lazy and (because I'm a follower of Jesus)
offensive. The beliefs of my character in The Dooms Chapel Horror have
echoes of Lovecraft. It's a clever and refreshing take on cults.
How did you get involved with that
Producer Christopher Bower [Christopher
Bower interview - click
here] and director John
Holt interview - click here]
sent me the script. I liked the character. And I knew the food in
Kentucky would be phenomenal (I'm a Southern boy and I still miss Southern
What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and
what was your collaboration with your director John Holt [John
Holt interview - click here] like?
exciting part first: I was chased by a bull! We did a shot of my rural
cult leader character walking through an idyllic pasture; a very pretty
shot taken at golden hour. I'm strolling through the pasture barefoot and
I hear this sound. It's a bull. He's not happy. I keep strolling. John
calls cut and then I haul ass. Those are the moments that make life
John Holt was delightful. He's a fan of classic horror
and monster movies, as am I, so we were kindred spirits.
recent movie of yours: At Granny's House - again, what's that one about,
and what can you tell us about your character?
At Granny's House
is a horror/thriller directed by Les Mahoney, who also
stars in the film. A female caretaker with a taste for love and death has
moved in with a sweet Mid-Western grandmother. Granny's house will never
be the same! I play a supporting role; a detective determined to get to
the bottom of the macabre goings-on.
again, talk about the shoot for a bit, and your director Les Mahoney [Les
Mahoney interview - click here]?
is a colleague (a focused director and an intense actor) and I
respect him tremendously. We shot in a picture-perfect little town in
Colorado, in a house that was so right for the script I doubt any
soundstage set could have topped it. The house is as much a star as the
lead cast is. At Granny's House
is a fun, dark and sexy little
thriller. I think Les will do well with it.
all three movies being horror film, how do they compare in approach to the
genre, and which approach could you identify with the strongest?
very interesting question. Deadly
Revisions is a psychological
thriller; The Dooms Chapel Horror
is a found-footage monster movie; At Granny's House
is a character-driven horror movie set in an old
house. As an actor I enjoyed all three approaches and I think all three
worked. As a person, I identify with psychological terror most strongly.
My mind is the most frightening place I know of. There's a great Mark
Twain quote; "Night brings many a deep remorse... like the rest of
the race, I am never quite sane in the night." That's true for me.
other current/future projects you'd like to share?
On TV: I enjoyed being included by CBS-TV in their
of the Most Notorious Killers in the 10-year history of the series Criminal Minds -
My Season 9 character came in at Number 11 on
that list; I'm hoping that they will have him back this season.
On Film: I've been wanting to play my silent film hero Lon Chaney for
years, and after receiving
The Lon Chaney Award from his great-grandson Ron Chaney -
- at the
FANtastic Horror Film Festival in San Diego last month I've been
approached by a couple of screenwriters with ideas for screenplays
incorporating Lon Chaney as a character, which is very exciting.
On Stage: I'm touring in 2015 with my one-man stage shows (The Book
Of Genesis and Jesus
Of Nazareth -
and have the usual slew of movies in
pre-production, production and release, all detailed at
My next two movie releases are the arthouse-horror hybrid Coyote
on Dec 16 and the Civil War period-piece The
Retrieval on Feb 3.
Thank you for asking.
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Anything else you are
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Micheal, actors talk too damned much as it is. Don't encourage us!
for the interview!
I thank you and your readers. By the
way, I'd like to get to Austria to do a film. Not the typical Hollywood
"let's use Austria to stand in for somewhere else", but something
rooted in Austrian history, ancient beliefs and folklore. If anyone has
ideas, I'm listening.